Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A; retinol is widely considered as the holy grail of anti- ageing ingredients. The umbrella of retinoids all fall within the same category of vitamin A derivatives and can be classified (for the most part) under the four core categories: retinyl esters, retinol, retinaldehyde, and retinoic acid. Retinol, tazarotene, retinoic acid, adapalene, pure retinol. All of these forms of retinoids seek to activate the three retinoic acid receptors (alpha, beta, gamma), each of which plays a different role in vital skin processes and behaviours, ranging from exfoliation, oil production, cell turnover, pigmentation, and collagen production. By increasing the rate of cell turnover in the skin, studies have shown it to be responsible for aiding just about any skin concern, from fine lines to pigmentation and even acne. Link to research - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699641/
From a skin perspective, retinoids work at a deep cellular level, where they help to boost collagen and elastin production, reduce cellular ageing and pore congestion, regulate sebum production, and have pigment stabilising and anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamin A cannot be made by the body and therefore needs to be supplied through our diet and in terms of feeding our skin topically, through skincare.
The retinoid family comprises retinol and its natural derivatives, such as retinaldehyde and retinyl esters, as well as many synthetic derivatives. When introducing your skin to retinol, it is important not to try too much, too soon. Beginners should start by applying theirs once a week, slowly building up to every other night. Diving in at the deep end will likely lead straight to irritation and flaking.
The cellular regeneration that retinol sparks can result in wide-reaching benefits for many skin types and concerns.
Retinol is also highly unstable in UV light, so use at night.